Heavy rain greeted the organisers, volunteers and riders arriving for sign-on at the Pitmedden Village Hall on Wednesday 5th June for the Bob Souter time trial, organised by Ythan CC. The competition was held on the same course used for the club confined TT – the out-and-back course on the B9000 from Pitmedden to the roundabout near Foveran, and back. This may have had something to do with almost 50% of the entrants wearing Ythan kit! It was also a record-breaking year for another reason – the number of female members taking part, many of whom had signed up for their first TT.
Fortunately for all concerned, prior to the first rider setting off at 19:01 hours, the downpour eased off, and all 42 riders enjoyed decent, albeit slippery conditions, particularly at the turn at the roundabout. The youth riders were set off first, followed by the female riders and then the men.
First Youth rider and 9th overall was former Ythan CC rider Cameron Brown, in a time of 24:49, with U14 riders Gavin Gronkowski coming 2nd and Robert Smart 3rd.
First Senior Lady was Ythan’s Megan Stronach in a time of 35:24. First Veteran lady, and 17th overall was another club member, Jenny Noble, in a time of 26:55.
Second Vet on standard, and 6th overall was Alan Smith (23:12) closely behind former teammate Colin Duncan (22:53), who is now riding for Elgin CC.
The Bob Soutar Handicap Trophy was won by Ythan rider, Wendy Gault
The fastest rider on the evening was Aberdeen Wheelers rider Iain Macleod, who returned to the keeper in a time of 20:51, finishing more than a minute ahead of second-placed rider, Tom Gelati.
On Tuesday 11th June the riders assembled at the Auchterellon Co-op for the season’s first 15 mile confined TT, held on the Kinnharachie, Ythanbank, Methlick, Formartine’s loop. The top three results in each category were as follows:
- Jenny Noble – 43.34
- Carol Middleton – 43.54
- Wendy Gault – 46:41
- Mike Giles – 38.21
- Matt Reid – 38.43
- Euan Gronkowski – 40.28
- Gavin Gronkowski – 50.09
- Robert Smart – 54.32
Mike Giles and Carol Middleton travelled to Freuchie in Fife for the Alistair Speed 50 mile TT. The 54 riders on the start-sheet had to contend with very blustery conditions.
Mike returned to the keeper in a time of 2:05:27, and finished in 21st place, with Carol completing the course in a time of 2:24:31. The fastest rider back was Alan Thomson of team RT23 in a time of 1:49:04.
Andy Scouller was Ythan’s only representative in The Osprey 12 – a twelve hour lapped mountain bike race on Kielder’s blue graded Osprey route. The plan had been to make the 2018 event a one-off, but given all the excellent feedback it returned in 2019. Riders were very grateful for this year’s new purpose-built tracks, as the unseasonable volume of rainfall had the potential to turn the course into a muddy quagmire.
Each lap was 7 miles, with just over 1000ft of climbing. The weather was horrendous, with heavy rain for the first 7 hours. Once the rain did eventually stop, any relief was short-lived, as that was the midgies’ cue to come out in force – all in all a challenging 12 hours!
Kudos to Andy for getting through all that and completing 12 laps to finish in 5th place in the men’s V40 solo class.
Further south in the Lake District national park, three intrepid Ythanites tackled ‘The Distance’, an adventure event held on a mixture of gravel tracks, forest paths and little travelled back-roads. Donald Stewart, Chico Daniel and Paul Gordon were set off with only the co-ordinates for their first checkpoint. Upon arrival at each checkpoint, provided they were clutching a stamped brevet card, they were given the details of the next section, which was provided either on a printed map or as a GPX file, making for a real adventure!
On Sunday 16th June a large contingent of Ythan riders of all ages assembled at Kirkhill forest near Dyce, for round 4 of the Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships.
With races from age 8 up to veteran, catering for beginners up to elite level, there was something for everyone, including spectators. It was great fun to watch, particularly from a vantage point at the aptly named ‘Carnage hill’, a fast, technical descent featuring tree roots and boulders, where many a rider came unstuck.
Ythan had riders entered in most events, but at the time of writing the results have not yet been posted. This event will be covered in the next report.